Notre Dame to go beyond Earth Hour

by Rachel Novick

This year, the University of Notre Dame will expand its participation in Earth Hour by turning out the lights on the Golden Dome of the Main Building and the “Word of Life” mural on the Hesburgh Library for an entire weekend. Earth Hour, which takes place on March 26 (Saturday) at 8:30 p.m., has become an international symbol of support for climate change action involving hundreds of millions of people in over 120 countries.

Earth Hour

“The theme of this year’s Earth Hour is to expand our energy conservation efforts beyond the hour,” said Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves. “Notre Dame is responding by keeping the lights off on these symbols of our campus for a span of 60 hours instead of 60 minutes. We encourage every member of the campus community to participate in Earth Hour as well, by turning off the lights at 8:30 on Saturday evening and by making a long-term commitment to conserve energy.”

Turning off the lights on the Dome and the library mural for three nights this weekend will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 600 pounds. A permanent reduction in energy usage also will take effect this spring with the installation of high-efficiency LED fixtures on the mural. This retrofit is part of the multi-year Energy Conservation Measures program, a $10 million investment aimed at maximizing energy conservation on campus.

“We hope students will take the opportunity to turn off their own lights and come out to play a game of glow-in-the-dark Ultimate Frisbee on South Quad this Saturday at 8:30 p.m.,” said Meehan Lenzen, president of GreeND. “This will be our second annual Earth Hour Ultimate game and it is fast becoming another great Notre Dame tradition.”